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Core elements
The Industrial I/O core offers a unified framework for writing drivers for
many different types of embedded sensors. a standard interface to user space
applications manipulating sensors. The implementation can be found under
Industrial I/O Devices
* struct :c:type:`iio_dev` - industrial I/O device
* :c:func:`iio_device_alloc()` - alocate an :c:type:`iio_dev` from a driver
* :c:func:`iio_device_free()` - free an :c:type:`iio_dev` from a driver
* :c:func:`iio_device_register()` - register a device with the IIO subsystem
* :c:func:`iio_device_unregister()` - unregister a device from the IIO
An IIO device usually corresponds to a single hardware sensor and it
provides all the information needed by a driver handling a device.
Let's first have a look at the functionality embedded in an IIO device
then we will show how a device driver makes use of an IIO device.
There are two ways for a user space application to interact with an IIO driver.
1. :file:`/sys/bus/iio/iio:device{X}/`, this represents a hardware sensor
and groups together the data channels of the same chip.
2. :file:`/dev/iio:device{X}`, character device node interface used for
buffered data transfer and for events information retrieval.
A typical IIO driver will register itself as an :doc:`I2C <../i2c>` or
:doc:`SPI <../spi>` driver and will create two routines, probe and remove.
At probe:
1. Call :c:func:`iio_device_alloc()`, which allocates memory for an IIO device.
2. Initialize IIO device fields with driver specific information (e.g.
device name, device channels).
3. Call :c:func:`iio_device_register()`, this registers the device with the
IIO core. After this call the device is ready to accept requests from user
space applications.
At remove, we free the resources allocated in probe in reverse order:
1. :c:func:`iio_device_unregister()`, unregister the device from the IIO core.
2. :c:func:`iio_device_free()`, free the memory allocated for the IIO device.
IIO device sysfs interface
Attributes are sysfs files used to expose chip info and also allowing
applications to set various configuration parameters. For device with
index X, attributes can be found under /sys/bus/iio/iio:deviceX/ directory.
Common attributes are:
* :file:`name`, description of the physical chip.
* :file:`dev`, shows the major:minor pair associated with
:file:`/dev/iio:deviceX` node.
* :file:`sampling_frequency_available`, available discrete set of sampling
frequency values for device.
* Available standard attributes for IIO devices are described in the
:file:`Documentation/ABI/testing/sysfs-bus-iio` file in the Linux kernel
IIO device channels
struct :c:type:`iio_chan_spec` - specification of a single channel
An IIO device channel is a representation of a data channel. An IIO device can
have one or multiple channels. For example:
* a thermometer sensor has one channel representing the temperature measurement.
* a light sensor with two channels indicating the measurements in the visible
and infrared spectrum.
* an accelerometer can have up to 3 channels representing acceleration on X, Y
and Z axes.
An IIO channel is described by the struct :c:type:`iio_chan_spec`.
A thermometer driver for the temperature sensor in the example above would
have to describe its channel as follows::
static const struct iio_chan_spec temp_channel[] = {
.type = IIO_TEMP,
.info_mask_separate = BIT(IIO_CHAN_INFO_PROCESSED),
Channel sysfs attributes exposed to userspace are specified in the form of
bitmasks. Depending on their shared info, attributes can be set in one of the
following masks:
* **info_mask_separate**, attributes will be specific to
this channel
* **info_mask_shared_by_type**, attributes are shared by all channels of the
same type
* **info_mask_shared_by_dir**, attributes are shared by all channels of the same
* **info_mask_shared_by_all**, attributes are shared by all channels
When there are multiple data channels per channel type we have two ways to
distinguish between them:
* set **.modified** field of :c:type:`iio_chan_spec` to 1. Modifiers are
specified using **.channel2** field of the same :c:type:`iio_chan_spec`
structure and are used to indicate a physically unique characteristic of the
channel such as its direction or spectral response. For example, a light
sensor can have two channels, one for infrared light and one for both
infrared and visible light.
* set **.indexed** field of :c:type:`iio_chan_spec` to 1. In this case the
channel is simply another instance with an index specified by the **.channel**
Here is how we can make use of the channel's modifiers::
static const struct iio_chan_spec light_channels[] = {
.modified = 1,
.channel2 = IIO_MOD_LIGHT_IR,
.info_mask_separate = BIT(IIO_CHAN_INFO_RAW),
.info_mask_shared = BIT(IIO_CHAN_INFO_SAMP_FREQ),
.modified = 1,
.channel2 = IIO_MOD_LIGHT_BOTH,
.info_mask_separate = BIT(IIO_CHAN_INFO_RAW),
.info_mask_shared = BIT(IIO_CHAN_INFO_SAMP_FREQ),
.type = IIO_LIGHT,
.info_mask_separate = BIT(IIO_CHAN_INFO_PROCESSED),
.info_mask_shared = BIT(IIO_CHAN_INFO_SAMP_FREQ),
This channel's definition will generate two separate sysfs files for raw data
* :file:`/sys/bus/iio/iio:device{X}/in_intensity_ir_raw`
* :file:`/sys/bus/iio/iio:device{X}/in_intensity_both_raw`
one file for processed data:
* :file:`/sys/bus/iio/iio:device{X}/in_illuminance_input`
and one shared sysfs file for sampling frequency:
* :file:`/sys/bus/iio/iio:device{X}/sampling_frequency`.
Here is how we can make use of the channel's indexing::
static const struct iio_chan_spec light_channels[] = {
.type = IIO_VOLTAGE,
.indexed = 1,
.channel = 0,
.info_mask_separate = BIT(IIO_CHAN_INFO_RAW),
.type = IIO_VOLTAGE,
.indexed = 1,
.channel = 1,
.info_mask_separate = BIT(IIO_CHAN_INFO_RAW),
This will generate two separate attributes files for raw data retrieval:
* :file:`/sys/bus/iio/devices/iio:device{X}/in_voltage0_raw`, representing
voltage measurement for channel 0.
* :file:`/sys/bus/iio/devices/iio:device{X}/in_voltage1_raw`, representing
voltage measurement for channel 1.
More details
.. kernel-doc:: include/linux/iio/iio.h
.. kernel-doc:: drivers/iio/industrialio-core.c